ERIC Number: EJ1119850
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Citizen Science to Engage Preservice Elementary Educators in Scientific Fieldwork
Scott, Catherine M.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n2 p37-41 Nov 2016
Preservice elementary teachers' lack of confidence in teaching science is an ongoing concern. Only 29% of elementary teachers in the field felt "very well prepared to teach life science," according to the National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Research has suggested that bridging informal and formal science education can improve preservice educators' attitudes toward science and science teaching and expose them to innovative teaching methods. For this study, a citizen science-based research project was implemented in an elementary science methods course. Students in the course collected data on turtles in the campus pond, then uploaded their data to a citizen science database focusing on reptiles. It was found that participation in the project not only increased participants' content knowledge regarding citizen science and reptiles, but it also provided participants with (a) a sense of social responsibility, (b) ownership of the project, and (c) a desire to teach children about the importance of the local environment. Implications for instruction are discussed.
Descriptors: Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, Elementary School Science, Methods Courses, Data Collection, Animals, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Scientific Literacy, Social Responsibility, Place Based Education, Qualitative Research, Interviews, Observation, Undergraduate Students
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nsta.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina